Anti-poaching war now also covers pre-emptive strikes based on grassroots intelligence
“Without the custodianship of rural communities, the protection of wildlife against poaching will be in vain, and it is therefore critical to consider our wildlife and our people as inseparably linked,” said Tinus Hanses, the Chief Operating Officer of Intelligence Support Against Poaching.
The anti-poaching unit earlier this week received a substantial contribution from Nedbank to help cover its operating costs. Intelligence Support Against Poaching (ISAP) is a monitoring service that gathers intel of pending or immanent poaching incidents, warning law enforcement agencies in advance, to deter and prevent poaching. Information supplied by the organisation has recently lead to several successful anti-poaching pre-emptive strikes, and on one occasion, the arrest of poachers at the scene.
Hansen said their operations will be futile were it not for the vital intelligence that comes from rural communities where the wildlife exists.
“Local communities know the animals – they understand how they move, how they think and how important they are for the Namibian and global ecosystems. They are key to protecting precious species by being our eyes, ears and hands,” said Hansen.
“The other side of the coin is the importance of financial aid to ensure our projects remain viable and deliver hardcore results. Partners such as Nedbank Namibia who recently donated N$50,000 to support ISAP’s daily operations enable us to fight full-force in the anti-poaching battle. It is with sincere gratitude that we accept Nedbank ‘s contribution,” he said.
ISAP is in the process of rolling out the Honorary Ranger Programme as well as establishing a network of informants to coordinate and centralize national information gathering. It also addresses gaps in anti-poaching logistics, including asset support – ISAP vehicles, its airwing, and monitoring and evaluation equipment is used by the task force in anti-poaching projects.
With its experience in data collection, ISAP has been nominated as the focal point for the roll-out of Cmore intelligence software in Namibia. ISAP has also established alliances with international technology-based organizations.
Explaining ISAP’s operational depth, he said “Our team, including lawyers, engineers, pilots, field operation specialists and CEOs of companies, has the varied skill sets needed to source and test a variety of anti-poaching solutions.